Ben Hogan was one of the best golfers of all time. He is often mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods, Walter Hagen, and Jack Nicklaus. People think he was one of the best golfers ever and remember him for his “golf swing theory” and his ability to hit the ball well. During his career, he wrote a book about golf called “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.” This book is still widely read by both amateur and professional golfers. He was a strong perfectionist with an iron will. He had a big impact on the sport, and his legacy is felt everywhere. At the peak of his golf career, he won nine major championships, including two Masters, one British Open, four U.S. Opens, and two P.G.A. championships. He is one of only five golfers in the history of the sport to have done so. Even though he had a major accident that almost killed him, he came back as a hero, and all of his fans were thrilled to see him again. He was proud to have won a number of awards and honors, and he was known for his great golf course management skills, which could make even the most difficult opponents give up.
Childhood and Adolescence
In Stephenville, Texas, William Ben Hogan was the youngest child of Chester and Clara Hogan. The family relocated to Fort Worth, Texas, where they ran into several financial problems.
Hogan’s father killed himself with a self-inflicted chest gunshot when he was only nine years old. His father is said to have died immediately in front of his eyes, which is commonly considered as the cause of his later introverted demeanor.
To make ends meet, he and his older brother, Royal, dropped out of school and began taking odd jobs. During this time, he began caddying at Glen Garden Country Club, which piqued his interest in golf.
He and his opponent, Byron Nelson, tied for first place in the annual Christmas caddy tournament when he was 15 years old.
Ben Hogan’s Career
He dropped out of Central High School and turned his attention to professional golf, making his debut at the Texas Open in San Antonio in 1930 at the age of 17, despite a horrible hook.
He made his P.G.A. Tour debut in the 1932 Los Angeles Open, finishing 38th and winning $.8.50.
Century Country Club in Purchase, New York hired him as an assistant pro in 1938 and later promoted him to head pro. He couldn’t say no to a head job offer from the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania in 1941.
He had competed in a number of pro events without much success until March 1940, when he won three consecutive tournaments in North Carolina.
Success came quickly, and he became a professional player thanks to a technique he dubbed his “secret.” By releasing his left grasp and swaying his arm in a clock-like manner, he was able to hit a powerful pull that he could manage.
His career was interrupted from 1943 to 1945 by a call to military service during World War II. He was stationed at Fort Worth, Texas, as a utility pilot in the US Army Air Force.
He missed a few years playing golf due to World War II. However, he returned to the sport full-time in 1946, winning the P.G.A title. He won the championship again two years later.
Hogan won 37 times between August 1945 and February 1949. However, a tragic vehicle accident in 1949 threw his career into disarray, rendering him paralyzed for sixteen months.
Despite physicians’ predictions that he would never be able to play golf again, he was more eager than ever to return to the sport, which he did during the 1950 US Open. He not only played in the tournament, but he also won it, despite being in excruciating pain on the last day.
He elected to play only seven PGA Tour events each year starting in 1950 and went on to win 13 additional tournaments, including six majors. Hogan was the only man to win three professional majors in a year until Tiger Woods broke his record in the new millennium.
He competed in five tournaments in 1951, winning three of them, including the World Championship of Golf, the United States Open, and the Masters.
He was the only golfer in history to win the Masters, the US Open, and the British Open all in the same year, in 1953. He was also supposed to play in the PGA Championship, but he couldn’t since the dates overlapped with the British Open.
In the fall of the same year, he established the ‘Ben Hogan Golf Company’ in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1957, he published ‘Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf,’ which became a popular instructional golf book.
He sold the company to American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1960 but continued to serve as chairman. After that, the company was sold to Cosmo World of Japan, Bill Goodwin, Spalding, and finally Callaway Golf before being shut down.
Hogan shot a Masters best 30 on the back nine in 1967 before formally retiring four years later.
Achievements and Awards
In 1940, 1941, and 1948, he won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest average score three times.
He was elected into the “World Golf Hall of Fame” in 1974.
He received the ‘Bob Jones Award,’ one of the greatest honors bestowed by the United States Golf Association for sportsmanship in golf, in 1976.
In 1999, he was ranked number 38 on ESPN’s list of the “SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century.”
Golf Digest magazine named him the “second greatest player of all time” in 2000.
Personal History and Legacy
In April 1935, he married Valerie Fox. He met her in Fort Worth during Sunday school and then reconnected with her while working as a club pro.
On February 2, 1949, the couple survived a devastating head-on accident with a bus. To save his wife, he threw himself across her to protect her, saving his own life in the process. The steering column would have perforated his chest if he hadn’t moved from his position to protect her.
He was paralyzed for several months after the injury, and doctors said he would never be able to walk again, let alone return to the game. He was released from the hospital 59 days after the accident, and when he returned, he surprised all of his followers.
He died in Fort Worth, Texas, after suffering from poor health following colon cancer surgery.
His impact is enormous. ‘Follow the Sun: The Ben Hogan Story,’ a movie on Hogan’s life, starring Glenn Ford, was released.
The United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History include a particular room dedicated to Hogan’s career, comeback, and accomplishments.
He helped create the initial designs for the Trophy Club Country Club Golfcourse when he was alive, and 9 of the 18 holes are known as the ‘Hogan’ course.
Aside from that, there are two Ben Hogan Awards in golf: one is given to a collegiate player, and the other is given to any golfer who overcomes a handicap or injury to return to the sport.
Estimated Net worth
Ben Hogan was an American professional golfer who, after accounting for inflation, was worth $10 million when he died. Ben Hogan was born in August 1912 in Stephenville, Texas, and he died in July 1997.
Unlike the other players of the time, this prominent American golfer, who was regarded as one of the “best ball-strikers,” played and practiced the sport without wearing a glove.